Attention on the cheap

Marketing and PR for startups is not an easy exercise. As a startup trying to engage in marketing, you lack a few vital things that bigger, more established firms often seem to have in abundance – time, financial resources and a lot of experience. Due to this, however, more established firms tend to go the old-fashioned way. They spend big budgets for publications in magazines, TV advertisement, billboards or radio spots. Totally out of the question for a startup. But is this a bad thing? Definitely not.

Every day the average American is exposed to 3000 ad messages of all sorts in the supermarket, at work, at home – everywhere. In Europe this number might be slightly smaller, but it is still simply gigantic. Attention overkill. Do you want to compete in this arena? You shouldn’t, because as you can imagine you have to be extremely good to be noticed or you would have to be everywhere so people cannot ignore your message. This is of course extremy costly. As a startup, your financial resources to do marketing are limited and so is your experience, but one thing you should have plenty of is imagination and creativity. So use it!

In order for people to notice you, you need to be different. You need to create something people talk about without you pushing them. They need to share it because they want to and not because you tell them to. The best example of a startup achieving incredible success with this strategy is the Dollar Shave Club. They offer razor blades for a buck a month plus shipping – thereby saving you all the money you would have spent on the big brands. Their video went viral and it is so hilarious that it already got them more than 7 Mio. views on Youtube and counting! It probably cost them a few thousand bucks to make, if even. End result: They will be funded with $9.8 Mio in their first round as announced today. Bets are their base will grow even more once Movember is over – a great example of how to get attention on the cheap.

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